Week 5 NBA Power Rankings: Are The Celtics The Biggest Challenger To The Warriors?

We're fast approaching the quarter point of the new NBA season, and we're finally starting to see some separation between teams. Many teams that got off to surprisingly fast starts have come back down to earth, while some of the teams that got off to slow starts are beginning to find their stride.

The biggest story of the young season is the Boston Celtics, who have ripped off a 12-game winning streak despite being without Gordon Hayward, which was them in consideration with the other elite teams in the league. How does everyone else stack up? Here are our latest NBA Power Rankings.

30) Dallas Mavericks (2-12)
Dallas picked up a surprising road win over the Wizards last week. However, earlier losses to the Hawks and Kings keep them in this spot.

29) Atlanta Hawks (2-12)
The Hawks have lost four games in a row since beating the Cavs.. Outside of Dennis Schroder - and flashes from John Collins - the Hawks have nothing.

28) Chicago Bulls (2-9)
Lauri Markkanen has played very well this season, ranking second among rookies in both points and rebounds per game. However, neither win has come against anymore more than a middling opponent.

27) Sacramento Kings (3-10)
Led by De'Aaron Fox the Kings tripled their win total by going 2-1 over the past week. With Buddy Hield also starting to play better, this team is showing promise.

26) Phoenix Suns (5-10)
The Suns have regressed after trading away Eric Bledsoe, which you would expect. However, they now have seven first-round picks over the next four years.

25) Brooklyn Nets (5-8)
The Nets aren't terrible! D'Angelo Russell has done a great job carrying the scoring load and their high-powered offense has given many teams - especially in the East - problems.

24) Indiana Pacers (6-8)
Victor Oladipo has carried the offense so far, but the Pacers have hit a snag after their early-season success. They've lost five of their last six games with that lone win coming over Chicago.

23) Los Angeles Lakers (6-8)
The good news - Lonzo Ball became the youngest player to record a triple-double in NBA history. The bad news - LA has lost three of their last four games. 

22) Miami Heat (6-7)
What are we to make of Miami? Dion Waiters has been a savior for them down the stretch in several close games. The problem is that many of those close games are coming against lesser competition.

21) Charlotte Hornets (5-7)
Charlotte managed to avoid disaster without Nicolas Batum. He'll return from an elbow injury on Wednesday, and the Hornets are hoping the wins will follow. They need to or else their season could start to spiral out of control.

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20) Los Angeles Clippers (5-8)
The Clippers are 1-8 after a 4-0 start, including a six-game losing streak - their longest since 2010. Is it time to press the panic button.

19) Utah Jazz (6-8)
As expected, Utah has had trouble finding their offense without Gordon Hayward in the picture. With Rudy Gobert now out for several weeks, their season will likely enter into a downward spiral.

18) New York Knicks (7-6)
The Knicks have a very bright future with Kristaps Porzingis and Frank Ntilikina. Can this young team find some consistency?

17) New Orleans Pelicans (8-6)
The pairing of Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins is working out well for the New Orleans. They still lack talent around their star duo, but they're red hot, winning five of their last six games.

16) Denver Nuggets (8-6)
The Nuggets are 7-3 after a terrible start to the season, but only two of those wins (Hawks, Nets) came on the road. Protecting home court is a good start, but they need to start proving they can win on the road. 

15) Portland Trail Blazers (7-6)
Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, and an improved Jusuf Nurkic have Portland looking like a legit playoff team. Consistency has escaped them...but they did just beat the Nuggets by 17 points.

14) Philadelphia 76ers (7-6)
Ben Simmons is going to win Rookie of the Year, Joel Embiid is a certified monster (when he plays), and Philly is quality play from their role players. The question asked with any young team - can they maintain this level of play for 82 games?

13) Milwaukee Bucks (7-6)
It will take some time for the Bucks to reach their full potential after adding Eric Bledsoe, but their ceiling got a lot higher. In total, they've won three games in a row.

12) Memphis Grizzlies (7-6)
Memphis has fallen back after starting the season 5-1, but they still get credit for those wins over the Warriors and Rockets. However, losing five of their last seven games is not a good sign.

11) Oklahoma City Thunder (6-7)
OKC is 2-0 after their "closed-door meeting" that came on the heels of a four-game losing streak. When this team finds their stride, they've shown they can be lethal - they just need to show that more often.

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10) Orlando Magic (8-6)
Orlando is another team that has cooled off after their 6-2 start, but Aaron Gordon's breakout season has us believing that Orlando could be in playoff contention all season.

9) Toronto Raptors (7-5)
We haven't learned much about Toronto yet this season. They haven't beaten anyone great and haven't lost to anyone terrible. The final verdict on this team won't be decided until the playoffs.

8) Washington Wizards (8-5)
The Wizards have a starting lineup that can compete with anyone. That said, their bench is a major issue, and their inconsistency has shown that.

7) Cleveland Cavaliers (7-7)
Cleveland's defensive issues are still there but they're playing much better since that disappointing loss to the Hawks, winning three of their last four games. It was only a matter of time until this team started playing up to their potential.

6) Minnesota Timberwolves (8-5)
The Wolves are 1-2 since reeling off five consecutive wins, including a head-scratching loss to the Suns. That said, they have already beaten the Thunder twice and have a number of other quality wins.

5) San Antonio Spurs (8-5)
San Antonio is finally starting to feel the effects of playing without Kawhi Leonard, going 4-5 after a 4-0 start. Still, the Spurs are playing as efficiently as ever and have identified new impact bench players in Bryn Forbes and Brandon Paul.

4) Detroit Pistons (10-3)
Easily the biggest surprise of the early season, the Pistons have won five games in a row and eight of their last nine games - a streak that includes wins over the Warriors, Clippers, and Timberwolves. Tobias Harris (20.1 ppg) has emerged as a potential All-Star and Andre Drummond has at least 12 rebounds in every game this season. The Pistons are legit.

3) Boston Celtics (12-2)
We had all written the Celtics off following Gordon Hayward's injury and their 0-2 start. All Boston has done since is win 10 games in a row with Kyrie Irving playing like every bit the star he came to Boston to be. Those wins have come against good teams, too, beating the Thunder and Spurs, among others. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are playing much better than expected, showing that Brad Stevens is getting the most out of his team once again. That level of team play could keep them at the top of the East all year long.

2) Houston Rockets (11-3)
Houston has been rolling despite the injury to Chris Paul thanks to James Harden playing like an MVP. That, plus the continued development of Clint Capela, has Houston delivering on the preseason hype.

1) Golden State Warriors (11-3)
A 1-2 start was puzzling, but this juggernaut appears to have righted the ship with a seven-game win streak - and six of those wins came by at least 17 points (and all by double-digits). In the famous words of Dennis Green...they are who we thought they were.

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